Seychelles ended the championship with four gold medals, one silver and two bronze. (State House)
Seychelles has won four gold medals at the 2023 Regional Sailing Championships in Mauritius showing that the island nation is still a major force when it comes to watersports.
The winners of gold medals were Odysius Melanie, Alison Hoareau, Roy Govinden and Jean-Marc Gardette
The tournament, hosted by Mauritius from September 9 to 16, saw sailors from Seychelles and Reunion, come together to compete for top honours after the sport was on the calendar of the 11th Indian Ocean Island Games.
Melanie competed in the optimist class with other six sailors in twelve races, winning nine of them. He ended with a score of 11 points, to claim first place, ahead of fellow Seychellois Joshua Allccon, who finished with a score of 19.
|Melanie won gold in the optimist class. (State House) Photo License: CC-BY|
“I am extremely happy, as the competition was not easy, but I did my best and managed to come out on top,” said Melanie.
The bronze medal went to a Mauritian, who managed to win one of the 12 races, Mateo Draboucan.
In the International Laser Class Association 4 (ILCA4) for the ladies, Alison Hoareau was able to win seven of the 12 races, to claim the overall victory with a net score of 13. She finished ahead of two other Seychellois, Samantha Faure and Ella Constance.
“I am satisfied with how the competition went, especially this being the first time sailing at this location,” said Hoareau, adding that it was tough because of the current and irregular wind conditions.
|Hoareau finished ahead of two other Seychellois, Samantha Faure and Ella Constance. (State House) Photo License: CC-BY|
“I think this shows that sailing is one of the sports, that if it were part of the IOIG, would have brought more gold medals to Seychelles,” she added.
The other gold medal for Seychelles came in the ILCA 7 class, where Roy Govinden had to put up a strong fight to keep Mauritius’ Obryan Brasse at bay to claim top spot at the end of the 12 races.
Govinden managed to win 7 of the races, with Brasse winning five, and had a net score of 13, compared to Brasse’s 15.
|Roy Govinden had to put up a strong fight in the ILCA 7 class. (State House) Photo License: CC-BY|
“The competition was tight between myself and Obryan, but I managed to stay focused right till the end to win it,” Govinden said.
The bronze medal went to Mauritian Christopher Bon.
In windsurfing, Jean-Marc Gardette gave Seychelles its fourth gold medal, winning a total of seven races, to finish with a net score of 13.
He finished ahead of Julien Morel of Mauritius, while another Seychellois, Jacquelin Languila, finished third.
“I feel super happy and motivated after beating the Mauritians for a second consecutive year,” Gardette said.
|Jean-Marc Gardette (middle) gave Seychelles its fourth gold medal in the windsurfing event. (State House) Photo License: CC-BY|
Speaking of the team’s performance, Gardette, a very experienced athlete added: “It shows the progress and commitment we have made so far as a team of highly motivated windsurfers to bring home the best results, which also shows as we could have done if we were not excluded from the IOIG.”
Seychelles’ President, Wavel Ramkalawan sent a message of congratulations to the team.
“Congratulations on the excellent results. You have all made Seychelles proud and ensured our flag is raised to the highest level. Continue to train hard and maintain the discipline. Once again congratulations to everyone who formed part of the Seychelles Sailing team during these Championships,” said the President.
He also wished a speedy recovery to Seychellois kite surfer Neddy Radegonde, who was seriously injured during the championship.
Seychelles ended the championship with four gold medals, one silver and two bronze.